By Rachael Tolliver, U.S. Army Cadet CommandJanuary 7, 2013
SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 7, 2012) -- There is a place in the Army for a nerd, particularly if you are the top Army ROTC Cadet of more than 5,000 nationwide.
Patrick Lupfer, from Northeastern University in Boston, said he always enjoyed math and science, so he guessed that made him a nerd, but a well-educated one who will soon have a degree in engineering.
Lupfer made the remarks Friday at the Student Leader and Award for Excellence Finalist Leadership Seminar where he was one of several speakers taking time to discuss the subject of leadership. The seminar and luncheon, held at the Mariott Rivercenter hotel as part of All-American Bowl week activities, was co-sponsored by the Professional Football Hall of fame to recognize excellence in education among the nation's high school juniors and seniors.
The Cadet followed pro football Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz, the keynote speaker who encouraged students to be disciplined, be mentally tough and be accountable.
"How you pick your friends, your events and the extracurricular activities you are involved with on campus will help you be successful and not deter you from accomplishing your goal," Munoz said. "I wanted to make my core group of friends, the ones who had the same values and the same morals, friends who would hold me accountable."
Munoz added that those same values are what he sees in the Army long before he knew the Army had what it calls its seven core values.
Lupfer echoed Munoz. He went on to conduct an exercise that involved each student wearing a label with one of the Army Values. Several students had the same value, and they had to mingle around the room, find each other, then sit and discuss what the value really meant.
As they went down the list -- loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor integrity and personal courage -- the students came up with examples of what the value would mean in everyday life and then Lupfer explained how the values are important in good leadership.
One student offered an example of honor being not cheating on a test when it would be so easy to do. Another illustrated duty with a football example of a lineman not doing his job, the play falling apart and the quarterback getting sacked.
"Selfless service is something I know most of you in here know about because you participate in community service," Lupfer said. "Selfless service is doing something not for personal gain."
The students worked together to define each value and gave several examples of them and how each might apply to life.
"I know that one day I will read about some of you here doing great and important things, and I can say, 'Hey, I met him or her and we talked about leadership,'" Lupfer said. "If you get anything out of this today, take what you have learned about leadership back to your schools and teach your friends."